On Wednesday, Minneapolis City Council members announced their constituents have seen a rise in crime just two months after moving to defund the police department.
Council members questioned Police Chief Medaria Arradondo on the uptick in crimes. Specifically, crimes that included daylight carjackings, robberies, assaults, shootings and street racing.
In fact, many recent emergency calls to the Minneapolis Police Department have gone unanswered.
“Residents are asking, ‘Where are the police?'” said Council Member Jamal Osman during the meeting. “That is the only public safety option they have at the moment. MPD. They rely on MPD. And they are saying they are nowhere to be seen.”
Council President Lisa Bender accused the police department of intentionally not upholding the law or making arrests.
“This is not new,” said Bender. “But it is very concerning in the current context.”
Arradondo has served as police chief since 2017, and said Bender’s comments were “troubling to hear.” Arradondo promised to address the matter with police department supervisors.
“We need to make sure that our communities know that we are going to be there, that we’re going to be responsive,” Arradondo said. “We’ve taken an oath to do that.”
Minneapolis Feeling the Effects of Police Defunding
The MPD’s crime data reports an uptick in assaults, robberies, homicides, and property crimes including arson, according to Minnesota Public Radio. In addition, more Minneapolis residents were killed so far in 2020 than in all of last year combined.
Arradondo mentioned that around 100 officers quit the police department or have taken a leave of absence since the start of the year. That equals more than double the normal amount.
In July, the council took measures toward dismantling the Minneapolis’ police department. The steps included approving an amendment to take away $1 million from the police department and reallocate it to the health department. The move was mainly used to employ “violence interrupters” who are supposed to defuse possible violent situations.
Earlier in the summer, the council pledged to dismantle the police department and replace it with a community-based system of public safety.
The council turned their focus on police reforms after George Floyd died. Floyd, a Black man, passed away after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for about eight minutes. The viral video of the incident sparked protests around the world that are continuing to this day.
[H/T New York Post]